Video: LaMelo Ball Sparks Brawl During Tour Match in Lithuania, Gets Ejected

GettyImages-903188378
LaMelo Ball before the match between Vytautas Prienai and Zalgiris Kauno on January 9 in Prienai, Lithuania. Ball left the club with his brother LiAngelo in April but returned to Lithuania over the weekend for a tour match. Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images

The Ball family’s return to Lithuania did not go as planned, as LaMelo Ball was ejected during a tour match after sparking a massive brawl.

LaMelo and LiAngelo, the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, spent four months in the Baltic country earlier this year playing BC Prina-Skycop with rather underwhelming results.

The duo returned to Lithuania over the weekend as part of a touring team made up of U.S. players from the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), the organization formed by their father, LaVar, as an alternative to college basketball.

Halfway through the third quarter of the game between the JBA team and BC Dzukija, LaMelo drove to the basket against Mindaugas Susinskas but lost control of the ball, which bounced out of play.

A video shared on YouTube shows Susinkas lightly tapping Ball on the back of the head upon returning to the court. The gesture clearly incensed the 17-year-old, who turns around to face his opponent before hitting him in the face and sparking a fracas involving pretty much every player from both sides.

Ball and Susinkas were both ejected by the referee and BC Dzukija, which competes in the first division of the Lithuanian Basketball League, won the game 124-116, after trailing 69-54 at halftime.

The incident is not the first time the Balls have caused controversy in Lithuania. 

Speaking to USA Today last month, Virginijus Seskus, the coach of BC Prina-Skycop, accused the Ball family of “destroying the club,” which was sponsored by LaVar and which LiAngelo and LaMelo played for.

The Ball brothers moved to Lithuania in January 2018, after LiAngelo dropped out of UCLA and LaMelo decided to skip college after dropping out of Chino Hills before his junior year.

The former, the senior of the two brothers, opted to withdraw from UCLA when he was suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball program after he and two teammates were arrested in China for shoplifting.

Shortly after LiAngelo and LaMelo arrived in Lithuania, BC Prina-Sycop withdrew from the Baltic Basketball League and launched a five-game exhibition series.

The event was sponsored by LaVar’s Big Baller Brand and became known as the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games.

However, the honeymoon period between the trio and the Lithuanian team was short-lived as Seskus rapidly grew tired of LaVar’s seemingly relentless criticism.

The Lithuanian coach also had strong words for LiAngelo and LaMelo, who averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 points per game respectively in the regular season .

Their talent is "nowhere near the level of the LKL [Lithuanian league], let alone the NBA” and they lack the “inner drive” to improve, Seskus added.

 

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick